On November 7, 2017, Texas voters will be going to the polls to either approve or reject seven proposed amendments to the state constitution.
Since our current constitution was adopted in 1876, it has been amended a total of 491 times out of the 673 times that the Texas Legislature has submitted proposed amendments to the electorate, according to TXLRL.
This November, Texas voters will be deciding on seven additional amendments. These amendments were passed by the Texas House and Senate during the legislative session earlier this year.
For the constitution to be amended in Texas, the proposed amendment must be passed by two-thirds majority of each branch of the legislature, then a majority of voters. This presents an interesting situation in November.
Why Should Texas Voters Head to the Polls?
With an estimated 150,000 homeschool families statewide, we have the opportunity to make a big impact in our elections. This is especially true in constitutional amendment elections where voter turnout is typically very low.
In the last constitutional election in 2015, the voter turnout was only 11 percent. Over the past five such elections, the average voter turnout was even less—8 percent.
To contrast: presidential elections typically draw 55-60 percent turnout and gubernatorial elections tend to draw 30-35 percent turnout, according to data from TXSOS.
Assuming that each Texas homeschool family has three eligible voters (450,000 voters total), the homeschool community alone made up 28.4 percent of Texas voters in 2015. Clearly, you can make a difference! But to do so, you have to go to the polls and vote on November 7.
Where Can I Get Information About the Texas Amendments?
Because none of the propositions on the ballot relate to homeschooling or parental rights, THSC will not take a position on any of the amendments.
However, constitutional amendments are important for all Texas voters, especially homeschoolers. Because of this, we want to provide information that may be helpful to you as you go to the polls.
Below is a list of resources where you can find information about the amendments.
- The Texas Secretary of State is in charge of organizing Texas elections and has a complete list of the amendments as they will appear on the ballot. In addition, the Secretary of State has a more comprehensive explanation of the amendments at VoteTexas.gov.
- The House Research Organization is a department of the Texas House of Representatives that provides information on topics before and related to the Texas Legislature. The HRO has compiled an information sheet on the proposed amendments.
- Empower Texans is well known and trusted in the state for its defense of conservative fiscal principles. The group recently published a list of recommendations on the upcoming constitutional amendments.
- The Texas Tribune is a respected nonpartisan news organization based in Austin. The Tribune has compiled an overview and explanation of the constitutional amendments.
Amending our constitution is an important event in Texas and taking part in the election is an important part of our duties as Texans. If you are an eligible voter, make a difference by voting on November 7!
Thank you for your continued support of THSC as we join together in Keeping Texas Families Free.